Li Ka-Shing is playing host on the top floor of his cheung kong Center tower in Hong Kong’s Central. It is where he often mixes business and pleasure, though rarely with a pair of reporters, his guests this day. Next door to the chairman’s dining room is a canopied swimming pool, complete with plastic dolphin, where his four grandchildren can frolic. Elsewhere in the suite is a treadmill, on which 78-year-old Li, who’s already had a morning golf round, puts in a 15-minute walk after lunch each day.
On this afternoon in early December he is recalling his past and projecting out a bit–five years hence–for the business empire whose saga has seen him go from plastic-flower manufacturer to the richest resident of Asia. His visitors are especially keen to hear of Li’s plans for mainland China….[Full Text]